A little background on who went on the trip. Me (36), my DH (33), my mom (61) and my MIL (54). My DH and I had cruised before but our mothers had not. We left for Houston on Friday the 22nd. I will do this day by day.
Friday the 22nd: arrived in Houston and checked into our motel in the Woodlands. We headed for the mall and ate lunch and shopped a little. I thought I needed some more clothes for the cruise. (As if) We meet our family for dinner at the Cheese Cake Factory (stretching our stomachs for the cruise). Had a lovely evening and went to bed early.
Saturday the 23rd: woke up late and swam a little and got ready for my cousins wedding. The wedding was great (drank way too much, once again getting ready for the cruise).
Sunday the 24th: finally cruise day Yippee!!!! Woke up around 8:30 and Dad and sister drove us all to the pier. Got in line around 10:30 and we were on the boat around 11:30 eating lunch on deck 9. I had a yummy sandwich, my MIL had the buffet and DH and mom had Sur Mer. Everyone loved their lunch. We headed to the Pursers desk to get room keys switched, walked around a bit to get the layout of the ship and headed to our rooms. We had connecting rooms 6299 and 6301. They were good size and plenty of storage and such. Put on swimsuits and laid out a bit. We got ready for our late setting dinner and everything was very good. Our waiter Dean was great as was his assistant Bat (nickname). Dinner for all was good. We attended the Welcome aboard Show and walked around a little more and went to bed early, we had had a long day.
Monday the 25th: I woke up around 6:30 and went to the Lido deck and laid out for a while. Everyone joined me and we had breakfast at the buffet. Very good and some of the selections changed daily. We attended the Travel and Adventure talk, watched the ice carving demo, participated in the Slot tourney and watched the Hairy Man contest. Laid out most of the afternoon and took a nap in the early evening. This was our first formal night so we all dressed up and took a few pics. Dinner once again was excellent; they had crème brulee my fav, so I was very happy. Played bingo and went to show. We gambled a little. Overall had a very fun day at sea! Only bad part is they announced due to Gustav we would not be going to Jamaica. Oh well went with the flow (more on Progresso later)
Tuesday the 26th: pretty much the same as Monday. Up early, went to afternoon tea (very nice, made us feel like we were on the Titanic). We laid out a little. We had lunch in the dining room. Very good! Dinner also was good. That night we had the Mardi Gras party. Lots of fun! Go Red! My only complaint about this is I think they should do it on Monday so you can stay up late and not have to worry about getting up early for your excursion the next morning. Overall had a great day!
Wednesday the 27th: Up early, breakfast at the buffet and we were some of the first people off the boat. Shopped in Grand Cayman for a couple of hours and met our tour for the Reef and Ray's tour. We had the best time. Saw so many different fish and my DH got to hold one of the stingrays. The guides were awesome and very informative. Some of the last back on the boat took a nap and got ready for another awesome dinner. We made reservations at The Point. It was so good and so amazing the things they can do with food. Well worth the extra charge. It took us 3 hours to eat. Highly recommended! Gambled a little, danced a little and off to bed for another fun excursion day.
Thursday the 28th: Mexico here we come! Slept late had nice breakfast in the dining room and got off the boat around 10:30. Shopped all day!!! Ate at a really cute restaurant (the drinks were way strong). If was so hot that day even the locals said it was "muy caliente". My mom took a taxi back to the ship around 2 (way too hot for her). We shopped some more and headed back around 4. Went to deck 3 to watch all the late comers (made us laugh to see people running). One couple was 40 minutes late. I am surprised they did not leave them. Took a nap, went to dinner at the buffet (way too tired to get dressed for dinner in the dining room) and the show (very good) and went to bed.
Friday the 29th: Up early, ate buffet and headed off the ship around 11. Took a bus into town and found the beach. It was so beautiful. We had the best time, rented jet skis and got harassed to buy things. Our moms got massages (45 min for $15). They said they were very good. We ate lunch at some place I would not have wanted to see the kitchen, but it was the best guacamole I had ever eaten. Once again, drinks strong. After the beach we shopped a little and took the shuttle back. Once again watched the late comers and took a nap. This was the last formal night and I did not like any of the pictures we had taken, so I made my DH take every picture available. He was thrilled. Went to a dinner and the show. Gambled a little and off to bed late.
Saturday the 30th: Woke up late, had breakfast, went to debarkation talk, shopped a little on the boat, and went to the crew q and a. I could not be in the sun that day because I got way to much the day before. We also went to tea again and the kid's talent show. Took pictures of the things I had not taken. Went to the last dinner (how sad), gambled a little and went to the Legends show. Very good and funny. We gambled a little more and had to pack (how sad). Went to bed and almost forgot I did not leave any shoes out to wear. (Yikes) Grabbed some and off to bed.
Sunday the 31st: Up very early, got ready left rooms and headed to Lido deck for our last meal. Ate and just waited for them to call our number. Customs was very slow that day. It took about 2 hours to get through and then our shuttle was late. It finally came and we drove to the airport and flew home. (Very sad)
Overall impression was very good. The ship is clean and the staff could not be better. Everyone always smiling and saying hi. Jen the cruise director and Chicken Little one of her assistants were awesome. The food was good to excellent. You in no way were going to starve. My favs were the French fries, the stuffed mushrooms, most of the steaks, crème brulee, all of the soups and all of the salads. Breakfast was all good; I liked the croissants, the eggs benedict, the hash browns and the French toast. I loved the deli and the pizza was good. Could not blame Carnival for the itinerary change. They did not produce the hurricane. We knew going into it that we were going during hurricane season. There is always plenty to do for everyone of every age. We will book another cruise the second we can. If you have any questions feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org